The Twin Cities metro library systems could soon become the first in the nation to share e-books, vastly expanding the number of titles available to library patrons.
…in the next few months, in time for the annual spike in e-book demand associated with e-reader holiday gifts, more than 100 metro libraries — those in the seven metro county library systems and the St. Paul Public Library — will share e-book titles via a 3M service called Cloud Link, an e-book lending service the company sells to libraries.
In an immediate boost for the new arrangement, expected to be approved on Thursday by the regional Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), the agency plans to spend as much as $500,000 for a common pool of e-books stocked with 2,264 of 3M’s most popular titles — eight copies of each. And, if the new sharing works well, it may buy as many more in 2014.
“We are being a national leader here,” [Chris] Olson [MELSA's executive director] said. Although there are other consortiums that share a pool of e-books, “The idea of being able to share another library’s collection is the unique thing.”
MELSA libraries will be the first to use to 3M’s “Cloud Link” software.
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